KELLOGG, Idaho — A Montana man who was shot and killed by an Idaho State Police trooper last month had been questioned by law enforcement officers for 45 minutes before grabbing a handgun and starting a struggle that ended with the shooting.
Shoshone County Deputy Adam Durflinger and Trooper Todd McDevitt responded on June 12 after a highway worker requested a check on the occupant of a vehicle parked at an Interstate 90 turnout just west of Lookout Pass.
“He had been there apparently for some time, and his car was kind of parked almost frontwards into a ditch and he was kind of laid back in his seat,” said Lt. Stu Miller with the Kootenai County sheriff’s office, which investigated the shooting. “For some time he was in that position, so they were concerned, and that’s why they called the sheriff’s office.”
The investigation found Alexander L. Mandarino, 26, of Whitefish, wouldn’t give officers a solid answer as to why he was driving his roommate’s car with license plates for a vehicle registered to Mandarino, Miller said Wednesday.
Mandarino was outside of the vehicle and at some point got in the passenger side of the car. The officers followed him, he grabbed a gun and a struggle for the weapon followed.
All three men had “hands on the gun” before McDevitt took a step back and shot Mandarino in the chest, Miller said.
Mandarino tested positive for THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Durflinger and McDevitt were initially put on paid administrative leave, but both have returned to full duty.
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